Thursday 21 June 2018

Aaron’s Spoiler-Free Review of The Invitation

Here’s a film that I had seen pop up a few times on streaming sites from time to time and seemed to just glance over and think to oneself “screw that pish-posh” until it was recently recommended to me by quite the trustworthy source (cheers, Mark) and I thought I would finally sit down and give it a ruddy watch.

Quite a simple idea really, as far as thrillers go. Man of tragedy Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and his new girlfriend get an invitation (roll credits) from his ex-wife to a reunion at her (and his old) house, where he is greeted by a bunch of old friends, including his ex-wife’s new spouse and weirdo, Dave (leave it to a Dave, eh?). What starts out as your bog-standard gathering/dinner party slowly begins to take somewhat of a strange turn when Will begins to notice some rather strange behaviour from his hosts and starts to believe that they and their creepy friend Pruitt have more than just wine and nostalgia in mind for the evening.

Now, as far as indie thrillers go, I have to say that this one was particularly brilliant; I'm not gonna lie. The acting is fantastic, particularly from our leading man, Logan Marshall-Green. I've previously only seen him as somewhat of a wet blanket in other roles, but in this one he particularly shines, playing the paranoid man-apart role with a pretty solid conviction, so top marks for that, me old son. Tammy Blanchard (who plays crazy bitch ex-wife Eden) also does well, doing a purposely over-the-top performance as a hostess who is trying too hard to make her guests feel comfortable by doing the exact opposite, and she pulls it off in spades so again, 10/10 on that.

The direction, however, is what particularly did it for me: a single-set location-style thriller that uses the absolute definition of ‘minimalism’ to bring the characters onscreen to life, putting them and the viewer in the same room, sharing the same experience and thoughts, and really oozing the paranoia into the room as you watch intensely from your pit of squalor, covered in crisps and tears, shattered dreams of what you could have been.

So yeah, this creepy flick is definitely one I would recommend this summer if you ever feel like a change to the constant kids' movies you’ve had to endure (as good as some of them are) and want some grown-up time once the little ones have gone to bed.

Aaron's Spoiler-Free Verdict: A chilling one-eye-open thriller with the same sort of paranoia that only whodunnits can normally induce, with a Kubrick feel to it. 8.5/10

Aaron James Waters is a best-selling Pulp Fiction writer who has written more books than he's actually read.

He's also the rotten apple of the group who thinks this whole Star Wars thing needs to hurry up and die already.

You can find Aaron's debut novel on Amazon!

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